One of the most talked-about aspects of the 2014 World of Bluegrass week in Raleigh was the temporary art exhibit, Banjostand, designed by Bland Hoke. It was constructed on site surrounding the iconic statue of Sir Walter Raleigh by Bruno Lucchesi.
We noticed it right away last year as it was situated just outside our press office, and Hoke and his crew were setting it up as we were loading in the day before the convention was to start. Watching him assemble the steel and wood installation was fascinating, and we were able to interview the artist about the project before most folks even saw the piece.
Bland’s concept was to build a band shell for Sir Walter, constructed from cast off banjo parts, which were donated in great quantity by Deering Banjos. Day or night, you’d find a steady stream of townsfolk and festival goers stopping to marvel, and have their picture taken with Raleigh and the Banjostand.
It was so popular that what was meant as a temporary, one-time display is being resurrected again for 2015. Raleigh’s Office of City Art is again sponsoring the installation, which will be enhanced this year by special lighting, a prop shop, and having a photographer on hand several hours daily to snap visitors with the sculpture.
The Office of City Art will also host an online photo contest, asking amateur shooters to post their WOB greetings to friends on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram using the hashtag, #Banjostand. A prize will be awarded to the most creative photos taken at the installation.
Sounds like fun. See you at the Banjostand.